Day 796: Turning 30

Rachel, Day by Day

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Me throughout the years.

All this time I thought I was going to dread turning 30, but I’m not worried about it at the moment. I mean, so many things happened in my 20s and I thought it would be difficult to close that chapter in my life… graduated college, first real job, first legal alcoholic drink, first car, first apartment on my own, first real relationship, first time I fell in love (or thought it was at the time), first time I actually fell in love, first house, first smartphone, first (and only) marriage, first kid, and so on. A lot can happen in 10 years.

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Me throughout the years.

It’s really strange looking back. There are certain parts of my 20s I won’t miss. The bad dates and relationships in my early 20s, a horrible relationship that hurt me badly and I thought had scarred me for life, losing loved ones, being apart from my husband for a little while, struggling through every-day stresses and drama of being a young adult, and so on. The first week living on my own, I was almost robbed in the middle of the night and now I’m kind of afraid to leave windows open. I went through my 20s without my dad and somehow made it through. I lost a lot of close family members in this decade (Grandma, Uncle Pat, Aunt Carol, Grandpa) and I miss them every day.

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Me throughout the years.

While there were some bad times, I’m getting somewhat sentimental remembering the good times. I was able to live with some amazing friends during college and I’m glad I live closer to them today! It’s crazy thinking how we used to stay out until 3 a.m. many nights; I don’t think I could do that now! We had some awesome and silly times together. I met some great friends at my first real job, and sadly we are all scattered in different places now. I stayed in touch with some high school friends, which has been great. I went on a lot of awesome trips with my mom, Ray, and other family members, and had many fun nights with them in general. I met the love of my life during college and later married him. I got some great in-laws out of this, too! Our child recently came into this world and it’s been wonderful getting to know him and having him in my life. I went on some great trips with friends and family, including Mexico, Michigan, Las Vegas, a road trip to California, Cedar Point, a cruise, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Paris, Miami Beach, Punta Cana, Ireland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and so on! I swam with dolphins, met the Stanley Cup, found a Corner Bakery not on a corner, went to numerous Cubs games, met Jonathan Toews numerous times, saw friends and family members get married, went parasailing, climbed up the steps of Notre Dame Cathedral, saw the Grand Canyon, got engaged, got married, had a child, and much more.

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Me throughout the years.

Even with the bad times, I know I’ll be able to look back on my 20s and smile. They are definitely a time for learning and growing. I don’t regret the bad relationships and I don’t feel stupid about them anymore. In fact, I came out of them a stronger and more confident person (I could still work on the confidence part just a little bit). I used to be so naïve in my early 20s, and feel like I’m out of that phase now. But, I’m still the silly, weird, caring, worrisome, funny, loving, sensitive girl from birth. Just a little bit older. So this decade made me part of who I am today.

What do I look forward to in my 30s? Definitely watching my son grow and taking him to new places. Spending time with family and friends. Spending time with my wonderful and amazing husband. Going to Cuba (which would be absolutely amazing). And watching the Cubs win the World Series. The Blackhawks could win another Stanley Cup, too.

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Day 791: June Through October Update

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 791: June Through October Update

I went to Wisconsin Dells with my family in September!

I realize I haven’t updated in a long time, so I thought I’d just give you the highlights over the past many months! Here you go.

June

  • I got to hang out with Andrea and Kim.
  • Steve visited us to watch a Blackhawks game.
  • Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and I watched with family!
  • I went to the Blackhawks parade with Hannah and Sydney.
  • We spent Scott’s 30th birthday in Normal. We ate crepes and went to Pub II with family!
  • We celebrated Scott’s birthday by going to a Cubs vs. Cardinals game in St. Louis.
Day 791: June Through October Update

Cubs vs. Cardinals game for Scott’s birthday!

 July

  • I hung out with Brendan, Anne, Kate, and Graham in Lisle.
  • We got to hang out with the Koehlers in the Chicago suburbs!
  • I got to hang out with Mel, Christina, and Brittany more often and see Grace! And…
  • SCOTT AND I FOUND OUT WE ARE HAVING A BABY!!
Day 791: June Through October Update

Our baby announcement!

August

  • We had our first baby ultrasound.
  • Met my new cousin Duncan Keith. Got to see Champaign friends the same day, too!
  • I went to a Cubs vs. Sox game at The Cell. Cubs won!
Day 791: June Through October Update

Our first ultrasound photo.

September

  • Got to take my photo with the Stanley Cup!! Then later that night, I went to the Cubs game with Scott, my mom, and Ray!
  • I went to Wisconsin Dells with family over Labor Day weekend.
  • My friend Stephanie got married on September 12.
  • Went to the Cubs game with Steve!
  • Went to a Cuban restaurant in honor of my dad’s birthday. Scott accepted a new job offer, too!
  • Went to the Apple n’ Pork Fest and saw Kendyl play soccer!
  • Uncle John visited a few times!
Day 791: June Through October Update

Me and the Stanley Cup! We are BFFs!

Day 791: June Through October Update

Cubs game with Steve!!

October

  • Cubs made it far in the playoffs. I’m proud of them!!
  • FOUND OUT ON OCTOBER 31 WE ARE HAVING A BOY!!
  • Buying a new house soon and we close soon.

There you go! And I’ll really try to update more often. Goodnight!

Day 789: Patrick Sharp

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 789: Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp and my mom in 2009. I took this photo at the Blackhawks Convention.

We Blackhawks fans lost someone dear to our hearts recently in a trade to the Dallas Stars. Yes… it was Patrick Sharp. We’ve been worried about this even before the Blackhawks took home the Stanley Cup, so we were a bit prepared. But, it’s still extremely devastating.

Patrick Sharp joined the Blackhawks in 2005, so he has been with the team for a whole decade. Since I’ve been to the Blackhawks Conventions six times now, I’ve learned about him as a player and a person. We all know what a great player he has been on the Blackhawks, but his personality is another reason why I’m a fan. At one of the conventions, I remember him saying early in his career on the Blackhawks when fans weren’t going to the games and the team wasn’t so great, he and the other players stood on the streets of Chicago handing out free tickets to people. That’s dedication right there. And now he has three Stanley Cup wins.

At the conventions, I saw a more friendly and silly side to him. He was involved in funny Second City skits, he randomly showed up at panels to tease the other players, and he always had something nice to say. We learned how he loved to pull pranks on the players when on the road; it was great hearing about that. When people asked him questions about his success, he seemed shy and humble. What a nice guy.

As you can see from the photo above, my mom is a fan of Patrick Sharp. In 2009, she stood in line to get his autograph. She was maybe third to last in line, but she made it! I stood at the side to get a photo of the two of them. When there were three girls left in line (including my mom), Patrick Sharp looked up at them, smiled, and waved. All three (including my mom again) waved back with huge smiles on their faces. And I got that great photo above! Right when my mom was done, she came up to me and asked, “Did you see he waved to me?!” It was a cute moment.

Patrick Sharp, you will be missed around Chicago, as a player and a person. You will always be a Blackhawk in my heart, even years down the road. It’s been a pleasure watching you play these past 10 years. Thanks for all the wonderful memories!

Day 785: Second Anniversary

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 785: Second Anniversary

Celebrating our second anniversary!

Hello there! Happy Sunday to all of you reading this. I am extremely behind and definitely need to catch up. This post is from our anniversary back in April! Yikes, I’m almost two months behind. My bad.

So back in April, Scott and I celebrated our two year anniversary! We spent the weekend in Chicago and had a blast. On Friday night, we walked around the city and stopped at an awesome view of the city by the planetarium. Here it is for you!

Day 785: Second Anniversary

We ate dinner at Rockit and had drinks at an Irish pub nearby. It was a nice, relaxing night! On Saturday, we went to the Shedd Aquarium. I haven’t been there since my prom in 2004, so it’s been a while! We saw some cool fish, went to a 3D show, got to see some adorable penguins, and much more! I am in love with penguins, so I took a ton of photos. Here’s one for you.

Day 785: Second Anniversary

He’s looking at me!

After the aquarium, we stopped at the Field Museum for some fun. There are a lot of cool historical artifacts in there; it’s really amazing! There’s so much history in our world and it was neat getting a glimpse of some of it.

Day 785: Second Anniversary

The Field Museum.

For dinner on Saturday night, Scott and I went to Hub 51, a nice and trendy restaurant. I ate some really good ahi tuna. It was packed in the restaurant, too! They had a giant screen in front of us showing the Blackhawks game, so that was awesome. After dinner, we wandered around to a few different bars so we could watch the rest of the game! We ended the night having a drink at Harry Caray’s Restaurant. The River North section of Chicago is great! There are some many restaurants and bars. I highly recommend it!

It was a great weekend with the hubby!

Day 784: Amazing Grace

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 784: Amazing Grace

Yikes, I am two months behind!! I was able to visit beautiful Grace a few months ago… I should really visit again soon! Look at how adorable she is (see above)! She was a little hesitant with me at first, but warmed up to me after a while. I was able to make her giggle; her laugh is so cute! If you are reading this Christina, I want to visit again soon! She probably changed a lot since the last time I saw her.

It was great seeing Christina, too! We went out to Olive Garden. I got to see Melissa and Brittany recently, too. We went out to dinner at the Bolingbrook Promenade. I miss these ladies and hope to see them more often!

I’m writing this post between periods during the Blackhawks game. Tonight is Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Championship! I’m nervous and excited. GO BLACKHAWKS!!

Day 783: Guster Concert

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 783: Guster Concert

Hello again! Back in April, I went to a Guster concert with my Uncle John and Scott. It was a great time! We went to the Riviera in Chicago to see them. The last time I went to one of their concerts was in 2007, so it’s been a while. They still sound awesome! It was cool being able to sing along with them. They really do sound amazing live. It was packed in there, too! They sang a lot of my old favorites and some of their newer music, too. We might have been the only three people in Guster t-shirts, but I don’t care. We have Guster pride! I hope they come back to Chicago soon… I’d go to another concert! They were pretty funny and told a few jokes between songs. Good times!

On our way home, we drove down Lake Shore Drive. It was a beautiful night to see the city! I love that road. I kept thinking about all the Cubs games I went to as a little kid and we’d drive home on Lake Shore at night. I loved looking out the window at the lights back then, and I still do now! Chicago is a beautiful city.

Speaking of Chicago, right now I’m proud of the Blackhawks and Cubs! And I’ll go knock on wood now.

Have a good evening!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 780: Arizona Trip

A beautiful Arizona sunset.

Just a few weeks ago, I went on a little trip to Arizona to visit my cousin Kim and her husband Raymond! I had a blast. I went on the trip with Scott, my mom, Ray, Uncle John, Uncle Paul, and Sydney. We got in very late Wednesday night, so we didn’t do much besides go to bed soon after arriving. On Thursday, we walked around the downtown area of Arizona State University. It was a cool area with bars, restaurants, and shops, so we stopped at an outdoor bar for some appetizers. The mountains around there were gorgeous! Later that evening, we ate some Buffalo Wild Wings and headed to the Coyotes vs. Blackhawks hockey game! The majority of the people there were Blackhawks fans… it was amazing!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

The gang before heading to the Blackhawks game.

Day 780: Arizona Trip

The Blackhawks about to kick butt!

The Blackhawks ended up winning 2-1. They had a lot of shots on goal, so I’m surprised there weren’t more goals! I’m glad they won, though. We then hung out at Kim’s place for a while… Kim and I had some lemon martinis! 🙂

On Friday, we went to the Cubs game at Sloan Park! It was a beautiful day. Sadly the Cubs lost, but at least it’s just Spring Training.

Day 780: Arizona Trip

At Sloan Park with Scott.

Day 780: Arizona Trip

From left to right: Me, my mom, Sydney, and Kim. Go Cubs!

After the game, we went to a restaurant called Oregano’s pizza. It was delicious! We waited a while for a table, so Kim, Sydney, and Ray ended up running through the sprinklers. Silly! We then went to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream and played games at Kim’s house.

On Saturday, I hung out by Kim’s pool with my mom, Sydney, Uncle John, and Kim while the rest of the gang golfed. It was a relaxing afternoon! We dared Sydney to get into the pool even though the water was freezing… and she did it! I tried it, too. Wow, it was cold!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

Sydney in the cold water!

I tried In-N-Out Burger at lunchtime for the first time ever, and it was really good! I haven’t had a hamburger in about six years, so I thought it was time to have one again. Later that evening, we went to Rustler’s Rooste for dinner and I had some really good salmon. The view there was amazing. Here it is!

Day 780: Arizona Trip

Beautiful view of Arizona.

After dinner, we played some games and had lemon martinis for our last night of vacation. Sunday ended up being a really long day full of canceled and delayed flights. We were originally supposed to get home early afternoon, but it ended up being around 9:30 p.m. Yikes!

I had an amazing time with my wonderful family!!

Day 775: Light

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 26

Day 775: Light

You might have to look away… it’s the bright sun!

I can’t believe it, but the sun was out for most of the day! I decided to take a crazy photo showing direct sunlight. I like how purplish blobs show up in the photo around the sun. It gives it a cool effect. Too bad the sun wasn’t bringing much warmth today, though. I think my eyes are still adjusting to the sun after having many dark and dreary days in the winter. I was squinting a lot today! Or maybe I should find my sunglasses… that would help. Anyway, there’s some light for you.

For you Blackhawks fans, did you hear Patrick Kane is injured and out for possibly 12 weeks? I will miss him. But, I think the Blackhawks can do it! I have faith in them.

Did anyone watch Amazing Race? If not, this season has 6 teams of dating couples and 5 teams of blind dates. I didn’t think I’d like it very much, but it was pretty interesting to see! I’m excited for this season. They went to Japan for the first episode; it would be cool to go there, but it would be difficult not knowing the language. It looks so busy, modern, and cultured. There are so many cool places outside the U.S.!

Enjoy your Thursday night.

Day 764: My Drink of Choice

Rachel, Day by Day

February 2015 Photo a Day: Day 15

Day 764: My Drink of Choice

Juice!!

Today I am showing you my drink of choice. There are others that I like… water, wine, coffee, lemonade, and so on. But, this is the one drink I like a lot lately! It’s a fruity juice, made by a company called Naked, and my favorite flavor is Berry Blast. Mmmm. I could drink this all day. I did spill it on my keyboard one day at work, and it took a while to get out. So, I don’t recommend drinking this near your computer. The keyboard isn’t sticky anymore, though! So that’s good news.

What a good day! The Blackhawks won this morning and I ate Portillos. What could get better than that? And my Uncle John is in town! If it was 70 degrees outside, this would be a perfect day.

If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be? I think mine would be either Scattergories or Apples to Apples. Those are my favorite. Maybe I’ll go play Scattergories now.

Have a good afternoon!

Day 748: January Updates

Rachel, Day by Day

Day 748: January Updates

Pretty lights at night!

Why, hello there! It’s been a few weeks since I updated. I know you’ve all been anxious to read what I’ve been up to. 😉

I’ve done a lot of fun things! I went to Zumba class with my mom; visited my grandpa occasionally; went to to the dentist (it wasn’t that fun); went out for nice dinners with Scott; watched football and hockey at Buffalo Wild Wings with Ray, Scott, Roxy, and Soleman; went to trivia night; got a professional massage; watched chick flicks with my mom; visited Scott’s parents; and more!

I actually have an exciting update that will start soon for my blog. I will be doing a February photo challenge! And, if things go well, I might do one every other month this whole year. Think I can do it? We shall see. Here’s the information on the photo I will take each day in February:

Day 748: January Updates

You can click on the Photography Challenges button at the top (or click here) to check out this list again throughout February. So, get ready for way more blog posts next month!